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View Full Version : restaurant charges for extra plate to split a meal?


Grumpy's Gal
08-15-2005, 07:28 PM
We ate out tonight at a semi-nice restaurant. I asked for an extra plate so we could share with our child. She told me that they charge an extra $3 for that. I was surprised! That's never happened in any other place we've gone. And you know what, we three even didn't eat all the food and still brought some home. Somehow, that just didn't rub me the right way about charging for an extra plate for a child. Anyone else have this happen?

Lisa loves Pooh
08-15-2005, 07:34 PM
I've seen restaurants that do that in general. B/c a non-paying patron is still taking up space. I don't know how old your child is---so I will share: My girls are 5 and 2...we plate shared at a restaurant recently--but weren't charged.

EthansMom
08-15-2005, 07:37 PM
I've never been charged to share with one of my children, but have eaten at restaurants where there was a notation on the menu that there would be charge for adults who shared food.

I've also been to restaurants that had a minimum charge per person noted on their dinner menus.

Lewisc
08-15-2005, 07:44 PM
It's reasonable.

SoVeryBlessed
08-15-2005, 08:00 PM
I personally think they should not charge for a plate. Especially if you are ordering TWO other meals. Instead of paying the $3.00, you may as well just pay the $4.00 or $5.00 for a kids meal & bring the leftover's home :confused3
JMHO

Lisa loves Pooh
08-15-2005, 08:03 PM
Well except the kids meals are usually crap junk food (nuggets and fries).

In restaurants where I know my kids will eat other stuff, we won't order off of the kids menu.

Swimnoid
08-15-2005, 09:25 PM
I've seen that and I think its stupid. For adults? OK, fine but when you are sharing with your child that's ridiculous. If you ever go back there again, take your own plate! :rotfl2:

pearlieq
08-15-2005, 09:41 PM
I don't think it's reasonable and I refuse to patronize restaurants that have a plate-sharing charge.

The nice thing about eating out is that there are hundreds of alternatives. I don't put up with guff from restaurants. I can always eat in on choose one of the other 30 restaurants within in a 10 mile radius.

Grumpy's Gal
08-15-2005, 09:42 PM
to clarify -- yes, we did order TWO dinners and an appetizer as well. :confused3

crisi
08-15-2005, 10:26 PM
We ate out tonight at a semi-nice restaurant. I asked for an extra plate so we could share with our child. She told me that they charge an extra $3 for that. I was surprised! That's never happened in any other place we've gone. And you know what, we three even didn't eat all the food and still brought some home. Somehow, that just didn't rub me the right way about charging for an extra plate for a child. Anyone else have this happen?

Haven't had it happen, but I'd be really tempted to look at the waitress with a look of surprise in my eye and say "boy, I bet that policy is really bad for your tips. Here we will spend $100 on food and wine and your boss wants to nickle and dime us to wash a plate!"

(Not that I'd take it out of the waitress from her tips - not her fault, but someone needs to think this through)

shaylahc
08-16-2005, 05:34 AM
I wouldn't eat at a restaurant that had this policy.

I don't buy the "charge for taking up space" concept because if a couple comes in to eat vs. a family should they have to pay more for their meals because they are taking up 2 seats at a table that can seat 4 vs. the family of 4 that takes up all the seats?

I have 4 kids (the oldest is 8) and my little ones have often shared meals. I can't imagine being expected to pay $3 for the 3 peas my 11 mos old might eat off a siblings' plate :rolleyes: When you go to a restaurant, unless you are dining at a buffet, you pay for what you order. Unless the extra plate charge comes with extra food, I see no reason to expect someone to pay for that :confused3

drakethib
08-16-2005, 05:59 AM
We ate out tonight at a semi-nice restaurant. I asked for an extra plate so we could share with our child. She told me that they charge an extra $3 for that. I was surprised! That's never happened in any other place we've gone. And you know what, we three even didn't eat all the food and still brought some home. Somehow, that just didn't rub me the right way about charging for an extra plate for a child. Anyone else have this happen?

Hey I am as frugal as anyone else, but from a biz point of view I understand this.

I am not saying I agree with it 100 %, but I understand the reasoning.

In fact over the weekend, I was eating in a pretty upscale resturant and a notice about sharing was listed on the bottom of the menu.

Lisa loves Pooh
08-16-2005, 06:58 AM
I'm interested in the age of OP's child. An 11month old is not going to be charged for a plate--ever. But then again--would you be taking your baby to a snazzy restaurant. A 10 yo is "usually" capable of eating a meal. Sharing with mom and dad so as not to order off the childrens menu--does kind of skirt the system. Now I understand that some kids do eat like birds---my mother eats like a bird and tries to order off of the kids menu when allowed. Understandably--it isn't always permitted.

They expect so many patrons a night---and to turn over so many tables. Pretend--every single party had someone splitting the meal. The restaurant has lost half of its revenue b/c for whatever reason--people needed to share. I'm sure the plate sharing charge came about b/c too many people came in and did this and then expected the same service (water, bread, side dishes) as if they had ordered 2 meals. Hubby and I would share more often if we could agree on a dish--b/c the portions are huge. I don't mind paying $3 if it saves me $20 and some inches on my waistline.

Often times--the extra plate charge....also allows for extra bread and an extra salad..depending on the restuarant.

They aren't charging to clean a plate--they are trying to recoup some of that lost revenue. If you make a reservation for 4--they are pretty assuming that 4 people will be eating.

CalvaryMike
08-16-2005, 09:55 AM
If you ever go back there again, take your own plate! :rotfl2:
I need to find a restaurant that practices this policy, just so I can take my own plate!!! :rotfl:

luckey-lasvegas
08-16-2005, 11:08 AM
As a person that works in the food service industry I'll through my 2 cents in.
If a plate is "split" in the kitchen by the cooks ,so that for example you now have 1/2 a sandwhich and fries with a garnish on each plate , then usually there is a plate charge to cover the expense of the extra fries, and overall the cost to wash the plate. If the server brings you a clean plate and you share the meal yourself then "usually" the charge is waived. My mother and I share meals almost every time we go out heres our tip, if you notice that there is a plate charge for go "sharing" and have one person order a side of fries or potato etc. the sides are usually around $2.00 and then you have your plate.
As a server I would never charge for sharing a meal with a child I would just bring a smaller side plate.

stczt
08-16-2005, 01:53 PM
When I do lunch with my friends @ Olive Garden we always share a salad and fettachini(?). They always charge us for the 1 person. They say that they will give us 1 bowl of salad if we want more than we'd have to pay for salad for the 2nd person.

Wishful Tinking
08-17-2005, 10:12 AM
I've been to an awful lot of nice restaurants that don't mind at all if you share a meal. I've also been to nice restaurants that are complete jerks about anything that takes an extra minute to figure out. We've decided it all comes from the top. If the management is looking for an extra $3 they'll get it one way or another. If the management truly values your patronage, they'll do what it takes to get you back.

Just my opinion

CarolA
08-17-2005, 10:22 AM
Your "non eating" persona still needed a plate, silverwear, water etc... You are paying for that. I personally have no problem with this. My BF and I have done this few times and it never bothers us.

I don't get the they should eat free bit.. if you want to eat free bring your own silverwear etc... don't expect the resturant to provide you this stuff and clean up after you for nothing!!! They are running a business not a soup kitchen.

tlbwriter
08-17-2005, 11:46 AM
Your "non eating" persona still needed a plate, silverwear, water etc... You are paying for that. I personally have no problem with this. My BF and I have done this few times and it never bothers us.
Not to mention there may be chips, bread, etc. brought to the table that the "non eating" person will still be eating. And if you really want to examine the cost of every person who walks into the restaurant... they may be going to the bathroom and using water, toilet paper, and soap. On a hot day, they are increasing the load on the a/c. On a busy day, they are taking up a space that a paying customer could use. Someone still has to bus and wash those dishes and silverware. It may seem petty, but someone has to pay for all of it, and when you multiply it by the potential number of meal-splitters who walk in the door, it's an issue.

Mom of Sleepy, Bashful and BabyDoc
08-18-2005, 08:30 AM
My family owned a restaurant for 10 years. Not a fancy one, just a nice family restaurant.

We wouldn't have dreamed of charging for an extra plate. Now, thinking about it, I don't necessarily like the idea, but I guess I don't have a problem with it, especially in the nice restaurants. BUT NOT FOR A CHILD! This family ordered two entrees and an appt..........obviously not cheap.........I think it's rediculous charging for a child when you ordered all that.

But we often split meals at Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Ruby Tuesdays...........they have never charged us for that. Never.

I do understand why some rest. would do it for adults, but not children. I don't think I would go back there.

mexican-mouseketeers
08-18-2005, 10:22 PM
I live in Mexico and here you are never charged when you split meals. On the other hand, most restaurants charge a small fee per person (between $1 and 2$) for "free" stuff like bread, butter, crackers, etc.

Julie

wdwfreak
08-19-2005, 01:13 AM
I am the general manager of a "casual-dining" restaurant. I won't say which one, but think in terms of TGIFriday's or Ruby Tuesday. Anyway, we could not survive if we nickel and dimed every customer that walks in there. I've read people talking about the charge covering the cost of washing the plate, extra garnish, etc. Those costs are so minimal that it doesn't make sense in my estimation to charge $2-3 for the extra plate.

Guests in my restaurant constantly ask for extra BBQ, extra pickles, extra crackers, etc. We give it to them at no charge. Let's figure this out: A gallon of BBQ sauce costs me about 8.00. There are roughly 16 cups in a gallon at 8 oz. per cup. If I give a guest an extra 2 oz of BBQ sauce, it costs me about about .12. I would estimate that in labor, hot water, and chemicals you add less than a nickel to wash the ramekin that it is served in.

I'll take the $30-50 that the average family of four spends in my restaurant over worrying about that .12. If I charge, say, a quarter for every extra side to cover the cost, then that family is going to end up going to one of the dozen or so other restaurants up and down the street that don't charge for that.

Again, I'll take the sales. This may sound crude and uneducated, but I can say with some degree of knowledge, that the higher your gross sales, the easier it is to make your budgets. Period. SO, anything I can do to bring in that $30-50, I'll do. Even if that includes not charging for an extra plate.

Just my 12 cents ...

Gillian
08-19-2005, 06:27 AM
I am the general manager of a "casual-dining" restaurant. I won't say which one, but think in terms of TGIFriday's or Ruby Tuesday. Anyway, we could not survive if we nickel and dimed every customer that walks in there.I would guess that economies of scale come in to play at a large chain restraurant. A single, local place will have different costs associated with items like garnish and even fries.

I would be surprised and unhappy to see a sharing charge at a national chain or franchise, however I would be willing to pay a sharing charge at a local restaurant (for an adult or older child).

Off-topic, but when I don't order food for my children (2 and 5) or split a meal between them, we usually give the server a bigger tip. One place we go to is really cheap with large portions, and the service is great so we always leave extra. The servers have to wait on 4 people, bring extra plates, water, etc, so they earn it.

swilshire
08-19-2005, 07:39 AM
Diners have a lot of options. I would eat at wdwfreak's restaurant before one that "nickels and dimes" you any day if all other things are equal. As suggested, you can make $29.50 off me or $32 and never see me again. In the long run, wdwfreak will be in business when the others may not be unless they are extra special in some way.

I totally agree with compensating the waitstaff appropriately. On the other hand, if they act like every request is a nuisance, they'll be lucky to get 10 - 15%.

Sheila

Skatermom23
08-19-2005, 08:27 AM
I am the general manager of a "casual-dining" restaurant. I won't say which one, but think in terms of TGIFriday's or Ruby Tuesday. Anyway, we could not survive if we nickel and dimed every customer that walks in there. I've read people talking about the charge covering the cost of washing the plate, extra garnish, etc. Those costs are so minimal that it doesn't make sense in my estimation to charge $2-3 for the extra plate.

Guests in my restaurant constantly ask for extra BBQ, extra pickles, extra crackers, etc. We give it to them at no charge. Let's figure this out: A gallon of BBQ sauce costs me about 8.00. There are roughly 16 cups in a gallon at 8 oz. per cup. If I give a guest an extra 2 oz of BBQ sauce, it costs me about about .12. I would estimate that in labor, hot water, and chemicals you add less than a nickel to wash the ramekin that it is served in.

I'll take the $30-50 that the average family of four spends in my restaurant over worrying about that .12. If I charge, say, a quarter for every extra side to cover the cost, then that family is going to end up going to one of the dozen or so other restaurants up and down the street that don't charge for that.

Again, I'll take the sales. This may sound crude and uneducated, but I can say with some degree of knowledge, that the higher your gross sales, the easier it is to make your budgets. Period. SO, anything I can do to bring in that $30-50, I'll do. Even if that includes not charging for an extra plate.

Just my 12 cents ...

Your the type of person I like to deal with....

LIFERBABE
08-19-2005, 09:27 AM
I will say this, there are restaurants that I will never return to because they nickel and dimed us.

We have a catfish place that serves a really nice relish tray when you dine in. Sometimes we would order our meal to go, and although the prices were the same we didnt get any of the items served on the tray. That was fine, I understood.

The last time I visited to pick up my to go order, I requested additional sauce (they gave me one or two packets). They wanted to charge me additional for each packet of sauce. If I had dined in, I would have received more sauce than that, included with the price of my meal, but to go orders were not being treated fairly. So we have never been back.

This is not a chain restaurant, and I would love to support small business, but I just didnt find this practice fair, so I cannot support it.

One of the reasons I like WDW. If they go to nickel and diming for everything, I will not support their restaurants either.

DebšošS
08-19-2005, 10:47 AM
I think it's fair to charge for the extra plate. They still have to clean up another plate and service that person. It's a nominal charge at WDW $$.

richybush
08-19-2005, 10:53 AM
I've also been to restaurants that had a minimum charge per person noted on their dinner menus.

probably a very luxurious restaurant who can afford to piss off customers...

C.Ann
08-19-2005, 11:10 AM
I like the idea of ordering a small side order and using that plate.. Will have to keep that in mind.. :flower:

Lewisc
08-19-2005, 12:46 PM
probably a very luxurious restaurant who can afford to piss off customers...

Some inexpensive breakfast type restaurants and diners have a minimum order per person. They don't want one guest paying $1 for a cup of coffee and getting unlimited refills while eating the toast that's was intended for the customer who ordered eggs or the muffin basket that was put on the table.

C.Ann
08-19-2005, 01:02 PM
Some inexpensive breakfast type restaurants and diners have a minimum order per person. They don't want one guest paying $1 for a cup of coffee and getting unlimited refills while eating the toast that's was intended for the customer who ordered eggs or the muffin basket that was put on the table.
-------------------

Wow! Now restaurants can tell people how much they need/have to eat?? :confused3 I'll have to watch out for those.. Not uncommon at all for me to go out to eat with my DD, DSIL & DGD and have nothing but coffee while they're eating.. "Force feeding" - huh? No wonder weight is such an issue in this country.. :teeth:

SleepyatDVC
08-19-2005, 03:37 PM
to clarify -- yes, we did order TWO dinners and an appetizer as well. :confused3


I would have told her that your child was having the appetizer as her meal, if she wouldn't back down for a CHILD!! :earseek:

I've heard of plate sharing charges but not for children unless you had a giant 11 yo!

KPmom
08-21-2005, 11:01 AM
I have had weightloss surgery and I am only able to eat 4-6 oz at a time. I try to order something healthy and share with my 4 yo DD. I have nver had anyone question me, but if they did I have a medical card that states information about my surgery and asks that I be allowed to order half portions or from the kids or senior menu. There are some places that do not accomidate me and we just don't eat there. We have a great buffet that lets me eat at the kids price and we dine there often. Another charges me full price and we have not been back. I am sure that the waitstaff would rather have me split an adult entree with me daughter then order a kids meal, as most adult meals are more than double a kids meal price. ~Mandy

amarberry
08-21-2005, 01:00 PM
While I can't stand restaurants that nickel and dime you for things like extra sauce, etc., I can understand why a restaurant would charge for adults sharing (and I've noticed that a lot of restaurants state something like "$3 charge for plate sharing" on the menu). We have some friends who order one kids meal for their two (hungry) kids to split, one meal for the husband and wife to split, water for everyone, and then they leave (what I consider) a lousy tip. This family isn't strapped for cash...they are just really cheap. I feel bad for the server who, IMHO, has to work just as hard for probably half the tip that they would have received if someone else had been seated at their table. In a situation like this, I think the extra charge for sharing is appropriate.

All that said, depending on the child's age, I generally don't agree in the extra charge for a child sharing your meal.

DW mouser
08-21-2005, 03:21 PM
I'm thinking with the Disney Dining Plan, there will be plate charges at DW because of all the meals shared!! I think I'll tell them we'll use our appetizer plates!!!

NeverlandClub23
08-21-2005, 06:58 PM
My parents always split a meal when we all go out to eat and recently a lot of rest. started charging $1-3 to do this. So they just stopped telling them they were splitting although some of them still charge if they see two people eating off of one plate.

NeverlandClub23
08-21-2005, 07:01 PM
I love places (i.e. Cracker Barrel, etc.) that let adults order off of the kids menu. I don't eat a whole lot and most of the time the food on the kids menu is more appealing!